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Retail sales slide 0.3 percent, biggest drop in 16 months

15 Juin 2017

Retail sales were unchanged when not including auto sales and the price of gasoline.

While the value of petrol service station receipts dropped the most since February past year and weighed on overall retail sales, Americans pulled back at other merchants.

United States retail sales rose 3.8% in May on an annual basis.

The drop in retail sales was a cautionary sign for the economy.

While the details show consumer purchases had less momentum in the middle of the quarter than anticipated, a strong job market, elevated sentiment and improved finances remain sources of strength for household spending, which accounts for about 70 per cent of the economy. Auto sales were also weak, falling by 0.2% m/m.

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Control group sales were unchanged on the month, although the April increase was revised higher to 0.6% from 0.2% previously.

But the Fed is still expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points later tonight, the second increase this year. They declined 1% in May, the worst performance in almost a year. Grocery stores, as well as health and personal care stores, both eked out 0.1 percent gains for the month, though perhaps because of price increases.

U.S. department store sales tumbled 1%, the largest drop since July 2016.

US retailers in May reported the biggest decline in sales in 16 months, largely owing to lower gasoline prices and fewer Americans buying new cars and trucks. Sales at clothing and accessories stores increased 0.3% from April and 1% from May of the year previous, while sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores decreased 0.6% from April and decreased 4.7% from May 2016.

Retail sales slide 0.3 percent, biggest drop in 16 months